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Saints prepare for William Jones Trophy 24 Aug 2015

The Wellington Saints Invitational team gather in Wellington today on a three day mini-camp before they travel to Taiwan to play in the prestigious William Jones Trophy.

After retiring as a player with an NBL title, Kevin Braswell will be begin his coaching career with the Saints at the tournament which in the past the NZ Tall Blacks have attended, winning the gold back in 2000.

It will be an extremely competitive tournament, featuring an invitational teams for the USA, Spartak Primorye from the Russian league.

National teams, Chinese Taipai A & B, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Philippines, coached by NZ great Tab Baldwin will also be competing.

The team will play their first game against Chinese Taipai B this coming Saturday, before the opening ceremony.

Through August 29 to September the 6th the Saints will play eight games and then will travel to Manilla, Philippines to play a four team tournament on the 11th to the 13th.

The tournament will be held at the word famous Araneta Coliseum, which staged the “Thriller in Manilla” boxing fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975.

Basketball is massive in the Philippines and it is expected that the 25,000 seat stadium will be a sell-out, potentially making it the biggest crowd that a New Zealand team has played in front of.

The Saints have put together a competitive roster, adding former import Bryan Davis, who will be remembered by NBL fans after grabbing 17 rebounds in the 2014 NZNBL Grand-Final.

Davis, who will play the centre position will partner up with fellow Texas A&M alumni Ray Turner, a 6’9 athletic power forward who led the Australian SBL League in scoring for the Perth Redbacks.

Another former Saint import and 2010 NBL league leading scorer Eric Devendorf will return to the side, and will be restarting his professional career after suffering a back injury a couple of season ago.

Saints players Damien Ekenasio and Jordan Mills will be joined by NBL player Richie Edwards (Canterbury Rams), Brook Ruscoe, Sid Adams (Manawatu Jets), Josh Bloxham (Supercity Rangers), Mitchell Newton (Southland Sharks). Braswell will also cover as a player.

Below is the Live Streaming Link for the William Jones Trophy.

William Jones Fixtures

Saturday, August 29, 3pm vs Chinese Taipei B    

Monday, August 21, 1pm vs Russia Spartak Primorye

Tuesday, September 1, 3pm vs Iran

Wednesday, September 2, 5pm vs South Korea

Thursday, September 3, 3pm vs Japan  

Friday, September 4, 1pm vs Philippines              

Saturday, September 5, 7pm vs Chinese Taipei A

Sunday, September 6, vs United States

(Note: Game times are Taiwanese time, NZ is four hours ahead)

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